“The true value of a human being can be found in the degree to which he has attained liberation from the self.” – Albert Einstein
We all want peace – to feel joyful and relaxed. In the midst of life there are many experiences that are joyful and those that are not. We may encounter people and experiences that seem to expand or close the heart. We may judge experiences, people, or relationships as either “good” or “bad.”
While there may be truth to this there may be clues, messages, or meanings to some of our most loving and most challenging situations in life – if we choose to pay attention. In addition, much of what challenges us on the outside is likely also challenging us on the inside.
If our boss, partner, friend, or relative is pressing our buttons we may blame them for how we feel. It may be true that what they’re doing is not very kind, but it will help your inner and outer peace to take notice of what negativity it brings up for you.
Vipassana is a Buddhist meditation that means “clear-seeing.” It is what Mindfulness Meditation is based on. It is a simple and effective way for being able to mentally and emotionally detach from what is bothering you. Then, you can observe sensations, emotions, thoughts, and feelings with love and compassion.
When learning about and studying mindfulness through books, teachers, and training I found it to be most effective when a little or a lot of heart is added to the process. Several books and teachers talked about observing the inner and outer self from the mind. While this can be helpful, because when you do this you discover there is one part of you, then the other part that can observe, I really found it more helpful when observing these parts from the higher mind, or the heart.
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
Usually, if we are experiencing something negative or uncomfortable, that isn’t an emergency or doesn’t need immediate attention, we are in the lower mind or what some spiritual or consciousness teachers and leaders refer to as the ego. By detaching from the ego and connecting with the wise, loving, compassionate, and intuitive self you will be much more likely to transform and heal the negative, painful, or hurt places more quickly.
Connecting with your higher intuitive self, feeling more joy and love can be quite healing and often will bring you a fresh perspective to an old problem. If you keep experiencing difficulties it would most likely assist you to practice bringing love, compassion and acceptance to your reaction to those experiences.
A great film that illustrates the power of Vipassana is “The Dhamma Brothers.” It is a story of prisoners in a high security prison who are guided on a 10 week Vipassana meditation retreat within the jail and how it effected them. Any of us, no matter if in jail, a monastery, or living “free” could benefit from this ancient practice that is now permeating schools, hospitals, clinics, campuses and more due to the many benefits of this practice for health, wellness, and prevention of disease.
Emmy Vadnais, OTR/L is a Holistic OT who teaches meditation, relaxation, and spirituality and intuitive development classes, as well as individual sessions for those seeking to transform pain and anxiety to peace and joy, and to align with the divine. She can be contacted at [email protected].